A League of Their Own – Did She Lose on Purpose?

Yesterday, Brandon and I, while waiting for the Cubs game to start, got into a debate about the ending of A League of Their Own (and if you haven’t seen it and/or don’t know what I’m talking about, drop everything you’re doing RIGHT NOW and get that shit on Netflix instant or whatever ASAP).  Brandon claims that Geena Davis’ character, Dottie, drops the ball on purpose so Kit (Lori Petty) can be the hero and win the World Series for her team.

I wholeheartedly disagree.  If Dottie was going to blow the game on purpose, why did she then call a time out to tell Ellen Sue to throw high, fast balls, which she knows Kit cannot hit or lay off?

Also, maybe it’s because I’m the little sister, but I want to believe that Kit could beat her big sister at something.  (Side note:  it’s not my sister’s fault that my mom had to write a letter to our elementary school specifically requesting they NOT assign me a certain teacher for my 6th grade year.  Not only did the woman take makeup tips from Tammy Faye Baker, but every time she saw me in the hallway she would squeal, “You’re Miriam’s sistah!”  To which I always wanted to respond, “Bitch, I have a name!”  But you can’t say that when you’re ten.)

Apparently, there is an eternal debate going on about this scene.  By the way, what did we do before the internet?  I’m able to share this clip below, but if we were debating this in 1992, I’d have to reenact the scene by drawing stick figures.  (Side note – I saw this reenacted in real life this year on July 4 when A.J. Pierzynski barreled into Mike Napoli, who subsequently dropped the ball).  Anywho.  Here’s the scene (and it’s SUCH a great scene):

I actually googled something along the lines of “ending to a league of their own” and found some old message board full of back and forth on this very debate.

Now, ignoring the fact that these were posted 12 years ago and some sexist jerks are talking about how girls can’t play sports in general, someone named Miller, posted the following:

I don’t think she dropped the ball on purpose. For one thing, it would be an absolute rat-bastard thing to do to the rest of her team mates. For another, it would communicate that her relationship with her sister was fundamentally unchanged: she’s still patronizing her little sister. “Letting” her win is the sort of thing you do with a five year old, not another grown woman. It’s almost as much of a shit move as backstabbing your team by throwing the game. I think Kit legitimately came out on top in that play. The message I take from it is that, at the end, it was Kit who was the “real” ball player – Dottie had more raw talent, but Kit had the heart for it. Dottie was just killing time until her husband came home. Kit loved the game.

I wholeheartedly agree with this – why would she quit the team only to come back to the World Series and throw it on purpose?  No, she didn’t.  She just dropped the ball because Kit knocked her over – she had enough built up rage to hit her hard enough to make her drop the ball.

So that’s my argument – Dottie would not have bothered to come back for the series in addition to trying to get her sister to strike out to lose the game if she had every intention of setting Kit up to “win” so to speak – she tried the opposite, and Kit came out on top.  No way did she drop the ball on purpose.  No way.

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